Access Services

Access Services

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The Access Services Department of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library is dedicated to ensuring that the library remains accessible to everyone regardless of specialized or adaptive needs.

CRRL is one of only 97 libraries nationwide that serve as a National Library Service Subregional Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.

As the Fredericksburg Subregional Library, CRRL was among the first adopters of Gutenberg machinery and operates the Talking Books and Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) programs for the cities of Fredericksburg, Manassas, and Manassas Park and the counties of Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, King George, Caroline, Westmoreland, Orange, Fauquier, and Culpeper.

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Talking Books & BARD Programs

Both free programs, with no late fees or wait lines, Talking Books and BARD allow individuals with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, physical or print disability to have books, magazines, musical scores, and more read aloud to them from a freely provided machine or from a downloadable app.

There are over 100,000 titles available in the Talking Books catalog, including Braille and foreign-language materials. You can also see the latest additions to the Talking Books catalog in the Talking Books Topics magazine.

Institutions with individuals who qualify for these services may also be signed up for the Talking Books service. Schools are strongly encouraged to allow students to enroll individually so that the students may continue to receive services in the event of graduation or transfers.

Cartridge in BARD

Collection Accessibility Features

Accessibility in the Catalog

eBooks allow the reader to change the background color, increase text size, change line spacing, and choose the font (letter style) - including OpenDyslexic.

Kanopy offers streaming films and documentaries with closed captioning.

LinkedIn Learning offers online video courses with closed captioning and a full transcript that appears under the video.

Other online research resources with built-in accessibility features including language translation, closed-captioned videos, and text-to-speech articles.


The Access Services department is also proud to offer the following additional services at our location at the Library Administration Center (125 Olde Greenwich Dr., Suite 155, Fredericksburg, Va. 22408):

  • JAWS: JAWS is a screen-reading software that allows blind individuals to use a computer with a set of headphones.
  • Braille: We have a limited capacity to Braille documents.
  • Sorensen: Insignia is a videophone, provided by the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which is available for individuals who use sign language to conduct outgoing calls on.
  • Sign language interpretation or cued speech transliterators for programming.
To arrange to use these services, please contact Access Services at 540-372-1144, ext. 7054 or 1-800-628-4807, or email talking-books@crrl.org, opens a new window.
For sign language interpretation, cued speech transliterators, or for Brailling documents over five pages, we ask that you contact us at least two weeks in advance of your deadline.

Library Branches Accessibility Features

Persons disabled due to Age or Health (Physical and Mobile Disability)

CRRL tries to make it easy for library users to move through its branches by offering:

  • Accessible parking spaces, ramps, and restrooms at all branches.
  • An open-floor, easily traversable layout at its branches, with no interior stairs at any branches except the Fredericksburg Branch, which has elevator access to all floors.
  • Drive-up book drops and wheelchair-accessible doors at many branches.
  • Walkers or wheelchairs are available at many branches upon request.

Please contact your local library branch if you have questions about specific features at that location.

Outreach Services

CRRL also offers the following services for those who are unable to come to the library.

Books-by-Mail

Books-by-mail is a service that sends library materials by mail to those who cannot physically come to the library due to temporary or permanent health, mobility, transportation, or age-related disability.

Requested titles are checked out for one month and mailed directly to your home. You are responsible for returning them to the library, including any necessary return postage.

If you or someone you know has difficulty visiting the library and would like more information about receiving materials by mail, please email the Access Services Librarian at babak.zarin@crrl.org,, opens a new window or call Access Services at (540) 372-1144, ext. 7054 or 1-800-628-4807.


Lobby Stops

Every two weeks, staff bring specially selected and requested materials to residents at local area senior apartments. Curated book deposits are also delivered to area rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities twice per month.


Satellite Locations

Due to COVID-19, service to the satellite locations at Belmont and Partlow is canceled until further notice.

Through partnerships with Spotsylvania County, the Belmont and Partlow Ruritan Clubs, and the Belmont Club of Women, CRRL operates two satellite branches at the Belmont Community Center in Mineral and the Partlow Community Center in Spotsylvania’s Berkeley District.

Library on the Go
Library on the Go Youth Services Vehicle

Cognitive and Emotional Impairment

Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, Anxious, Depressed and other Emotional, Psychosocial, or Intellectual Impairments

Due to COVID-19, these programs are currently unavailable except for Time with a Therapy Dog/PAWS for Reading and Memory Cafe.

CRRL recognizes not all impairments are visible. Those with cognitive and emotional impairments - also known as “invisible” disabilities - are welcome to utilize CRRL services and spaces. Among the services and programming offered by CRRL for those with cognitive and emotional impairments are:

  • Creative Minds: Children with autism or other special needs who are in grades K-6, along with their caregivers, are invited to explore self-guided learning stations in a supportive environment especially. This program is offered in partnership with Paragon Autism Services.
  • PAWS for Reading: Children in grades K-6 are invited to practice their reading by reading to dogs. The dogs are trained to be around children, and those participating may collect a bookmark. Those who do not wish to read are welcome to sit and pet the dogs as well.
  • Sensory Time: Youths on the autism spectrum or with other developmental challenges are invited to attend stories, songs, and activities geared towards supporting early literacy practices.
  • Time with a Therapy Dog: Adults and children in grades 7-12, along with caregivers, may read or relax with a therapy dog. This program is offered in partnership with Blue Gray Therapy Dogs.
  • Memory Cafe, Relax and Reminisce: Share conversation, nostalgia, and refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere. In partnership with the Alzheimer's Association, opens a new window. For adults with early memory loss and their care partners.

Volunteer, Partnership, and Donation Information

Due to COVID-19, volunteers are not being used at this time.

The Access Services Department welcomes volunteers who are able to learn the use of specialized library equipment and are available for commitments of six months or longer, for 1-2 hours per week.

  • Clerical: sorting or conducting mailings, organizing materials, and basic office work.
  • Specialized Software: work involving WebReads software or a Gutenberg machine, including mapping subject codes and entering, updating, or suspending customers.
  • Other duties as assigned: including work on specialty Access Services projects.

Access Services joins CRRL in working alongside our community partners. For more information about who these partners are and how to become one, read more here.

Access Services also joins CRRL in accepting donations. You can find a complete statement of the CRRL donation policy here.

Note: We ask that donations specifically for Access Services have features such as descriptive audio, captions, Brailling, or other accessibility features.

Hands Raised to Volunteer

Accessibility Statement and Assistive Technology

Notepad with pencil

CRRL is committed to providing customers with equal access to:

  • library collections and services
  • programming and events
  • facilities and branches

CRRL honors these commitments by offering the programming and services described on this page. CRRL also tries - when possible - to acquire resources and technologies that are in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and attempts to provide reasonable accommodations to customers with disabilities upon request.

To help CRRL in honoring these commitments, we ask that you contact:

  • Your local library branch, at the phone number or email listed here, with any questions regarding specific requirements or adjustments necessary for your visit. Library staff will attempt to accommodate the needs of users who identify as having a disability.
  • Or Access Services at (540) 372-1144, ext. 7054 or 1-800-628-4807, or talking.books@crrl.org, opens a new window with any suggestions or comments about your experience using accessibility features at the library.

Many popular browsers also offer built-in accessibility tools and many assistive technologies are available at little to no cost. You can learn more about some of these tools by clicking on the links below:

Browser Accessibility

Accessibility Software

Assistive Devices

Local and state agencies also offer assistive technology and services. For more information about those, check out these links and handouts:

The disAbility Resource Center of the Rappahannock Area, Inc.

Virginia Department of Blind and Visually Impaired

Virginia Department of Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

You can also learn more about the Virginia Disability Service Agencies through their Document Repository, which includes more detailed forms and applications.

Contact Us

Email Icon and Phone Icon

Access Services loves to hear from those who use or would like to use our services. We welcome invitations to present informational programs and participate in community events. You can reach us:

By Phone: 540-372-1144, extension 7054 or 1-800-628-4807.
By Visiting: 125 Olde Greenwich Drive, Suite 155, Fredericksburg, Va. 22408.

Please note our hours vary, so we strongly recommend calling for an appointment before choosing to visit.

You can also contact the Access Services Librarian, Babak Zarin, directly by calling 540-372-1144, extension 7054 or by e-mail at talking-books@crrl.org.

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